The Las Vegas Raiders have been a potent offensive team in recent years, but the defense has been disappointing and has held the team back.
The Raiders hired defensive coordinator Gus Bradley to fix their defensive woes, and the front office did their best to equip him with the talent necessary to turn that unit around. The most impactful move Las Vegas made was signing Yannick Ngakoue to a two-year deal.
Ngakoue was one of the bigger names on the free-agent market because of his reputation as a pass rusher, and according to Vic Tafur of The Athletic, Derek Carr was not shy about comparing him to one of the NFL’s best:
I had a lot of excitement every time we did something but the one that really excited me — and it really excited me for Maxx (Crosby) — was getting Yannick (Ngakoue). I know the type of player that Yannick is. I don’t … he is the only guy I have compared his twitchiness to Von Miller. I don’t compare anybody to Von. Von is in an all-world, Hall of Fame class of his own. But Yannick has the same kind of abilities and traits. Playing against him, game-planning against him was a headache, and now that other teams have to focus on that and they have to focus on Maxx, and the interior, getting him did so much for our team.
Not only that, but he is such a great person. He reached out to me — I am usually the one who reaches out to my teammates to make sure they’re good — two or three times in the offseason to make sure I was good. That just shows me the kind of leader he is going to be, and that excited me.
The excitement around Ngakoue’s arrival to the Raiders has been palpable, and Carr is just another member of the team who is looking forward to playing with him. While Carr’s assessment of Ngakoue might raise some eyebrows, it speaks to how highly-regarded the pass rusher is within the organization.
Ngakoue is going to be counted on to bolster the Raiders defense, but it sounds like Carr and the rest of the team are confident he can get the job done.